There are many considerations that go into a decision to buy a home in a certain area. This includes things like property taxes, crime rates, job opportunities, entertainment options and much more. For parents, though, one of the most important considerations is the quality of the schools in a certain district. If the schools are poor, they will probably decide to move somewhere else.
However, how do you find the best schools for your children before you buy a house? Answering this question may seem difficult on its own. Below are a few tools you can take advantage of to make your search much easier.
The United States Department of Education
One tool you should start with is provided by the US federal government. The United States Depart of Education produces statistics and other sets of data that can help you evaluate the quality of education in different schools in different districts across the country. The department’s National Center for Education Statistics website is especially helpful and includes a number of different tools you can use to locate schools, examine statistics, view graphs on school performance and more. It’s an excellent resource you should take full advantage of.
Online School Comparison Tools
Parents that want to find the best school for their children want to find tools that allow them to make direct comparisons between schools in different cities and towns. Thankfully, there are a number of great tools available online for free that parents can use to do just that. This includes free tools on websites like Great Schools and School Digger. Great Schools, for example, allows you to compare different schools by criteria like test scoring data.
School Review Websites
These days, most people won’t even eat at a restaurant or stay at a hotel without first reading online reviews. Thankfully, similar review websites exist for schools to help in your search. Public School Review is one such website. Being able to read actual reviews from parents who dealt with the teachers, administrators, and school systems on a first-hand basis can be extremely valuable info to have. You may learn things you wouldn’t learn otherwise such as which schools have problems with bullying or violence on the schoolyard. Other websites like Our Kids provide reviews for private schools if you want to avoid the public school system entirely.
Local Discussion Boards
Another choice you may have not considered for you research is seeking out discussion boards or forums related to the districts and school systems you are considering. You’re likely to find many discussions between parents covering facets of those school systems not covered anywhere else. The commentary is likely to be truthful and completely candid. Parents who make the effort to post about these topics won’t hold any punches.
Don’t be afraid to make your own account so you can ask questions directly to those parents. That kind of direct interaction with people who have firsthand experience with those schools can allow you to learn a lot more than you would without their input.